Today, autism spectrum disorder affects many children. Unfortunately, there is no cure, but many therapies can help treat or lessen autism symptoms. Some of the treatments are risky or expensive, but animal-assisted therapy is risk-free and low cost. Pet and animal therapy is beneficial for people of all abilities and disabilities. They encourage social interaction, comfort, play, and, of course, joy. People with autism that are comfortable and supported by animals are not alone. Your child has joined millions of other people who share the same interest by being an animal lover. Finding a group with shared interests is a significant benefit for many autistic kids.
While research is new and limited, much of the evidence is universally positive. Animal-assisted therapy helps people with ASD cope with anxiety, engage more fully with other people, and build communication skills. One study even suggests that autistic individuals smile and laugh a lot more when around animals.
In animal therapy, a trained therapist uses animals as part of the treatment plan. It’s different from using animals to give comfort and affection to people in the hospital or using animals for a service. The animals live with families and are trained to alert the family when the child is wandering or interrupting repetitive behaviors.
Animal-assisted therapy helps the child learn empathy, communication, and social skills. It also helps them manage their behavior and can even change (to a small degree) the characteristics of autism. The child feels more comfortable talking to a pet, and he can learn to apply these skills in family and other relationships. The therapy usually involves a series of sessions in a group or individually, and it often involves dogs, horses, cats, ferrets, birds, and farm animals.
We are here to help you. If you want to try animal therapy, there are many important things to consider—and here you will find all the information you need. Read this informative article to get you started.